Ohio Official Confirms Attempted 2016 Election Hack, Says Voting System Wasn't Compromised

26 September, 2017, 06:35 | Author: Christian Benson
  • Image credit Reuters

DE officials have learned the state was targeted by Russian hackers attempting to influence last year's election.

On Friday afternoon, DHS placed individual calls to the top election official in each state and six USA territories to fill them in on what information the agency has about election hacking attempts in their state previous year.

Colorado may have been among almost two dozen states whose election systems were scanned for weaknesses by Russian-linked actors leading up to the 2016 election, the Colorado Secretary of State's Office said Friday, though officials feel strongly that there was no breach.

Sen. Chris Coons said he wants to see local, state and federal efforts to prevent inference in next year's midterm elections to be better funded and more coordinated.

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"We all understand that everybody's information people are targeting anything they can to get at the information", said Huntly, "but the State of Texas took extra precautions I believe after the State of IL was hacked, and so I think everyone kind of backed down the hatches", Huntly said.

Earlier this week, the state's budget writers approved diverting money from an unused election account to spend an additional $1.2 million to upgrade the office's cybersecurity measures for its voter registration system and business database.

Some election systems were hacked, but not manipulated, according to the testimony.

A member of the DHS Office of Public Affairs referred Government Technology to its National Protection and Programs Directorate Office (NPPD).

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Jaeger said the information was "very sketchy" Friday. Again there is no evidence that records were altered.

Federal officials said that in most of the 21 states the targeting was preparatory activity such as scanning computer systems. He called it "completely unacceptable" that DHS had taken more than a year to inform his office "despite our repeated requests for information". The states that told The Associated Press they had been targeted included some key political battlegrounds, such as Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney says the board will discuss security improvements at its Tuesday meeting.

He emphasized it was the first time his office had been informed of an issue by DHS - and detailed his concern that in June 2017, Jeanette Manfra, Acting Undersecretary for Cybersecurity and Communications at DHS had told a U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee that "the owners of the systems within those 21 states have been notified".

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State and local officials balked when Obama Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in January he planned to designate elections as part of the nation's critical infrastructure, which meant additional security assistance from the federal government.

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